The Emirates Group has recently announced its 24th consecutive year of profit and companywide growth amidst unprecedented economic pressure and record high fuel prices.
The Group’s 2011-12 Annual Report posted a AED 2.3 billion (US$629 million) net profit, with dnata marking its highest ever profit in 52 years of operation. Despite fundamental challenges, the Group’s revenue reached a record high, climbing to AED 67.4billion (US$ 18.4 billion) an increase of 17.8 percent on last year’s results. The Group’s cash balance grew by 9.5 percent reaching a strong AED 17.6 billion (US$ 4.8 billion).
“Achieving our 24th consecutive year of profit and maintaining an upward growth trajectory is an achievement that belies the industry norm,’ said His Highness (H.H) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.
“Throughout the 2011-12 financial year the Group has collectively invested close to AED 14 billion (US$ 3.8 billion) in new products. This investment has garnered new customers and increased our international presence. Successful business growth is not a matter of luck, it is the result of sustained and calculated investment. Every dirham that we earn is strategically ploughed back into our business and it is this foresight that has allowed the Group to maintain such strong and consistent profitability.”
Despite a difficult operating environment, the Group continued to invest in and expand on its employee base, increasing its overall staff count by more than 10 percent.
During the year Emirates received a staggering 22 new aircraft, its highest in any single year, funded by a wide variety of financing structures. With an increased fleet, Emirates further invested in its network by adding 11 new destinations and increasing capacity to 34 cities, a record for the airline.
“Managing volatile exchange rates, coupled with our highest ever fuel bill has required immense tenacity. Retaining growth and remaining profitable in these challenging economic times shows our profound understanding of the markets that we do business in,” added Sheikh Ahmed.
Reaching a record profit, dnata stayed true to its proven acquisition strategy, gaining a majority stake in online travel agency, Travel Republic Ltd and a 50 percent interest in Wings Inflight Services in South Africa. Importantly the results for 2011-12 highlight that 55 percent of dnata’s revenue is derived from its international operations, an increase of 17 percentage points over last year
In the 2011-12 financial year Emirates’ fuel bill increased by 44.4 percent over last year to reach AED 24.3 billion (US$ 6.6 billion). With operating costs increasing by 24 percent compared to a revenue increase of 16.2 percent over last year, Emirates bore the brunt of the crippling cost of fuel for nearly one year, before reluctantly introducing a fuel surcharge on all tickets.
In addition to the cost of fuel Emirates had an operationally challenging year with the political unrest across the Middle East and North Africa affecting flight schedules. By keeping a tight focus on operations and modifying capacity and schedules Emirates was able to maintain profitability.
“In the last five years, Emirates’ capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres, has increased by almost 100 percent facilitating new trade links and creating a new flow of passenger traffic. Being the first to capitalise on these new opportunities has allowed us to gain a distinct competitive advantage, one that we intend to maintain,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
“We move into the new financial year with cautious optimism, navigating our way through the difficult economic climate with a clear vision for our continued success. We understand that succeeding in this industry requires determination and we are unapologetic about our drive to be the best.”
“We are never complacent, always striving for perfection and always acutely aware that we things can be done better. Customers’ expectations only get higher and it is up to us to ensure that we move upwards with them. With the help of our 63,000 strong multicultural workforce we have no doubt that the years ahead will again be more profitable than the last,” added Sheikh Ahmed.
Emirates revenue reached a record high of AED 62.3 billion (US$ 17 billion) growing by 14.9percent when compared to the 2010-11 financial year. Despite this strong revenue growth, the stifling cost of jet fuel impacted Emirates’ bottom line with the airline’s profit sitting significantly lower than the previous year at AED 1.5 billion (US$ 409 million)representing a decrease of72.1 percent over last year’s record results.
Passenger yield increased by 7.8 percent to 30.5fils(8.3 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM), up from 28.3 fils (7.7 US cents) in 2010-11.
In contrast to the global economic environment Emirates witnessed an upward trend in its premium class seat factor for a second year, up 1.9 percentage points from 2010-11. Premium and overall seat factor for the airline’s flagship A380 aircraft sat even higher, highlighting a continued demand in the product from passengers.
With a further 232 aircraft on order worth over US$84 billion, combined with the airline’s increasing worldwide passenger traffic, Emirates’ is set to continue to drive considerable economic growth in the countries that it serves.
Forging ahead with its intricately planned expansion, Emirates received 22 new aircraft during the year including 14 Boeing 777-300ERs, two Boeing 777Fs and six A380s from Airbus, the highest number of aircraft received in a single year of operation. With an increased fleet, Emirates launched 11 new destinations in 2011-12 including a strong focus on North America and South America in the final quarter with Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Seattle and Dallas-Fort Worth all launching between January and March 2012.
In addition to these new destinations Emirates added much needed capacity to 34cities including; Manchester, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Khartoum, Lahore and Tunis. Looking forward to 2012-13, Emirates has to date announced four new routes including Ho Chi Minh City, Barcelona, Lisbon and Washington D.C.
New A380 destinations for the airline in 2011-12 included; Munich, Rome, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur and Johannesburg bringing the total number of A380 destinations to 17. In the coming financial year Emirates will launch a further three A380 destinations including: Melbourne, Tokyo and Amsterdam. A total of 20 of Emirates A380’s have also now been equipped with on-board Wi-Fi to allow continuous connectivity for passengers.
Continuing its customer focus Emirates opened four new dedicated airport lounges during the year including; San Francisco, Istanbul, Colombo and a fourth new lounge in Dubai, bringing the total number of Emirates lounges to 32. Globally Emirates extended its lauded Chauffeur-drive service to a number of new cities such as Chennai and Bangkok, in addition to enhancing its existing Chauffeur-drive product in the UAE by introducing 46 Mercedes E200 cars for its First Class passengers.
Bucking the industry trend, the 2011-12 financial year has been a strong one for Emirates SkyCargo with revenues of AED 9.5 billion (US$ 2.6 billion) an 8.4 percent increase on last year on account of an increase in freight tonnage and freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM) which rose by 5.4 percent.
Emirates’ Destination and Leisure Management (D&LM) division saw revenue of AED 245 million (US$ 66.8 million) during the year, an increase of 8.4 percent over last year.
In the 52 years of dnata, 2011-12 has been its most successful yet. With an increase of 58.9 percent over last year, dnata grew its revenue to AED 7 billion (US$ 1.9 billion). Overall profit for dnata also reached its highest ever point at AED 808 million (US$ 220 million).
During the year, dnata’s operating costs increased by 58.9 percent to AED 6.2 billion (US$ 1.7 billion), primarily triggered by the first full integration of Alpha Group.
Complementing its growth and expansion, dnata underwent a comprehensive brand refresh throughout the year, incorporating the different businesses of dnata under the unifying ‘One dnata’ umbrella. With staff across 39 countries, the ‘One dnata’ message has been fully embraced by its 20,000 strong workforce.
As of 31st March 2012, the Group and its subsidiaries employed 63,000 staff, representing over 160 different nationalities. The full 2011-12 Annual Report of the Emirates Group – comprising Emirates, dnata and their subsidiary companies – is available on: